It is showtime in Las Vegas on Saturday for the biggest boxing match of 2020 where Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder go toe-to-toe for the American's WBC heavyweight title.
The pair have met before, of course. The first fight finished in a contentious draw in December, 2018. "The Bronze Bomber" put "The Gypsy King" on the canvas in the ninth round and again in the 12th but the Englishman got back up and believes he should have won, having outboxed Wilder for most the fight.
If the promise of a similar spectacle on Saturday was not enough, the showmen have been ramping up the rancour pre-fight, putting aside their long-standing mutual respect. The final press conference suggested there is now little love lost between the pair.
"Don't you ever forget that when I found you, you were strung out on coke. You were like a big house, contemplating killing yourself," Wilder said of Fury, who has spoken publicly of his bipolar disorder and battles with addiction, including a 31-month absence from the ring in which he had to surrender his belts.
"Don't you ever forget who brought you to big-time boxing. I brought you back, dragged you back, I put food on your table for your family to eat and I'm doing it again for a second time. I'm the one who sells the pay-per-view and tickets. They come to see me."
Fury showed the kind of comeback that saw him get up twice from Wilder 15 months ago in Los Angeles. "And that's the man you take on? A man thinking about killing himself?," Fury said. "You thought you were getting an easy victory, didn't you? Well it didn't work out: I came back and kicked your a*** all over."
The judges saw it differently, hence the draw after the fight went the distance. The view is that if it goes the distance again then it will be Fury with his arm raised by referee Kenny Bayless at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on Saturday night.
Wilder's fights rarely go the distance - 41 of his 43 wins have come early since he turned pro after winning Olympic bronze in Beijing in 2008. Fury's record of 20 stoppages from his 30 wins is slightly less dominant and it is widely accepted that Wilder's right hand is the biggest punch in boxing - one that has knocked down every opponent he has faced. The pair have both fought and won twice since they touched gloves in LA and are ready to put their records on the line again.
What time is Wilder vs Fury on?
The pay per view is scheduled to start at 8am on Sunday February 23 (Hong Kong time). The main card is set to start at 10am and the main event is predicted to begin no earlier than 12pm.
How can I watch the fight?
Many of Hong Kong's bars are advertising their screening of the fight while for those with a VPN there are several pay-per-view options from other regions. Broadcasters include ESPN+ and Fox Sports in the US, BT Sport in the UK and Main Event in Australia. Over-the-top platform DAZN has the rights in a number of other countries.
Who are the bookmakers saying will win?
Wilder is the favourite, with the oddsmakers offering $1.8 for the Alabama fighter to win. Fury is priced at $2 and another draw is paying $24. The fight not going the distance is $1.66, while a full 12 rounds is paying up to $2.35. Wilder to win by KO, TKO or disqualification is the favourite method of victory, at $2.2.
What does the winner stand to get?
Aside from Wilder's WBC heavyweight title, which he has defended 10 times already, the chance of an even bigger payday is on the cards in arguably the biggest fight of their careers. A fight with Anthony Joshua would make the most sense and with it a chance to be crowned undisputed heavyweight champion of the world.
What are Wilder's and Fury's records?
Wilder has fought 43 times and won 42 of them, with 41 by KO. Fury has fought 30 times and won 29 of his bouts, 20 by KO. The only draw on either man's record is their December 2018 fight.
What other fights are on the card?
Charles Martin vs Gerald Washington, Emanuel Navarrete vs Jeo Tupas Santisima, Sebastian Fundora vs Daniel Lewis on the main card.
Amir Imam vs Javier Molina, Subriel Matias vs Petros Ananyan, Rolando Romero vs Arturs Ahmetovs, Gabriel Flores Jnr vs Matt Conway, Vito Mielnicki Jnr vs Corey Champion and Isaac Lowe vs Alberto Guevara on the undercard.
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